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This is part 2 of a series on educators who work at Turnitin.

In this post, we’re focusing on educators who work on Gradescope, our feedback and assessment platform that provides a suite of integrated technology solutions to help universities, faculty, and students in high-demand STEM, Economics, and Business courses. The software was built on pedagogical foundations to better the grading experience for educators and improve student learning outcomes. The work continues today with engineers who themselves, have had hands-on experience teaching and grading.

Our Gradescope team is passionate about education and intimately familiar with grading challenges and student success. And we like to think that the intensity and commitment to excellence show in our product.

Want to meet some of the educators who work on Gradescope? Here they are.

Ibrahim Awwal, Principal Software Engineer

Between my undergraduate and graduate education at UC Berkeley and UCSD, I was a lab assistant, a grader, and a TA for about 4 years. I taught a variety of subjects in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. 

My experience as an educator is central to my work at Turnitin. I'm always using my experience to inform the products that we build. Our initial prototypes of what became Gradescope were built around streamlining our existing grading workflows, and I still use the perspective of an educator when considering how new functionality can be most useful for instructors. I love hearing from instructors about what they would like to see Gradescope help them with next! 

I also lean heavily on my background teaching programming classes when helping instructors with our programming assignment features. We get a lot of instructors creating programming assignments with a broad spectrum of programming languages and unique assignment types. It’s exciting to see the creative ways people use our products in ways that we never anticipated!

Michael Ball, Software Engineer

I was a TA for 4 years and Summer Instructor at UC Berkeley for an introductory Computer Science course. I continue to be involved with teaching introductory computer science by doing research in programming languages, building curricula and professional development for secondary teachers.

My classroom experience, especially as a TA, gives me direct insight into how most of our users work with Gradescope—TAs are often our most dedicated users! Through teaching, I also gained a lot of experience in working backward to understand students. Building empathy is crucial when debugging, and when trying to solve problems our instructors frequently encounter.

Gradescope really is a product that was built by instructors for instructors. Of course, our students are still critical to us as well! I try to never forget my experiences as a student, which definitely inform product decisions.

Sergey Karayev, Head of STEM AI

I worked a Teaching Assistant for the Intro to Computer Science course at the University of Washington as a Junior and Senior. At Berkeley as a grad student, I TA'd the Intro to Artificial Intelligence course with Gradescope co-founders Arjun and Pieter. I also organized a weekend boot camp for software developers on the subject of Deep Learning.

I most enjoy putting together educational materials (slides, labs) that help learners understand things better and faster. I like that Gradescope was built for educators by educators.

Saurabh Bipin Chandra, Machine Learning Specialist

I was a TA for 5 quarters during my Masters, TAing for the same course (undergrad Operating Systems) in each of the 5 quarters. So I got really good at it in my last 2 quarters! Having been a TA and having graded many exams, I understand our customers’ pain points. I work on the computer vision/ machine learning aspect--all on the backend. I like to think my work makes the life of educators a little bit easier.

I really enjoyed making my students think, seeing them think through a problem and reaching the solution with a few nudges.

I ended up at Gradescope because I was required to use Gradescope while TAing in my first quarter. I then mailed Arjun a lot of feedback and that's how I got to know him. I interned at Gradescope during the summer and then joined the company full time!

Dibyo Majumdar, Senior Software Engineer

While completing my BS and MS at UC Berkeley, I worked several semesters as a Reader and Undergraduate Student Instructor. I led a student group trying to leverage technology to make recording and sharing of lectures more accessible. Instructors using our service would have their lectures recorded by one of us, and the lectures could be accessed on our platform.

At Gradescope, I am working on a product that aims to significantly improve the lives of educators. My experience as an educator informs many of the product decisions I make. At the same time, having seen the system from the other side as a student, I try to consider their experience as well.

I think education is the most valuable thing you can give to anyone. It has no monetary value of its own, but it can significantly improve the life outcomes of a person. I feel really lucky to have the opportunity to work on improving education at my job.



Join us on Thursday, June 27th to learn how Gradescope is helping transform grading into learning for engineering educators.


Want to help transform grading into learning? Learn more about Gradescope.